Ireland is another small, tech-savvy country that is finding opportunities in Asia.
Government-backed seed investor Enterprise Ireland has a portfolio of more than 5,000 companies, with over 200 of them involved in fintech, according to Mo Harvey, head of financial services and financial technology in Asia Pacific for the group.
“We see Asia, genuinely, as probably the No. 1 market for growth for these companies, especially the fintech companies,” Harvey said at Ireland’s conference booth in Hong Kong.
One of those is Global Shares, which developed software to manage employee equity compensation and award plans and also serves as a broker when they sell.
It is expanding in Asia, where it counts Japan’s Mizuho, China’s SenseTime and McDonald’s in China and Hong Kong as customers.
“It’s a growth area, it’s where all the new technology companies are growing,” said Dara Murphy, a Global Shares general manager in Hong Kong.
“All the fast-growing unicorns are in Asia, tech companies, which is what our target is,” he added.